Author to Mitt: You Owe My Family 130-Year-Old Debt

Romney's great-grandfather never repaid $1K bail, she claims
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2012 11:08 AM CDT
Author to Mitt: You Owe My Family 130-Year-Old Debt
Mitt Romney leaves Brewster Academy after working on convention preparations, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in Wolfeboro, NH.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mitt Romney seems like the type to pay his debts, but now he's being plagued by one that went unpaid—130 years ago. Author Judith Freeman explained this week in the Los Angeles Review of Books why Romney owes her family $25,000: It seems that, back in the 1870s, Romney's great-grandfather Miles and Freeman's great-grandfather William Jordan Flake were acquainted in Arizona Mormon communities. When both were arrested for polygamy, Flake posted Miles Romney's $1,000 bail.

Not only did Miles Romney never repay the debt—he also fled to Mexico, where Mitt's father was eventually born; Flake served six months in prison. "Since it's never too late to make a situation right, and since Mitt Romney seems to have sufficient funds now to cover his ancestor's old debt, I'd like to call upon him to do so," writes Freeman. She calculates that, without interest, the $1,000 from the 1880s would be around $25,000 today—and she says she's happy to divvy it up between Flake's 15,000 living descendants. Hat tip to Guardian for the find. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)

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